“Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?” Taylor Swift once sang. While the song is about a fragile relationship, the lyrics might as well apply to our current Mercury retrograde in Scorpio. Ever since Halloween, we’ve been dealing with miscommunications, technological mishaps, and, oh yeah, those Valentine’s Day ghost texts that suddenly arrived in our inboxes eight months later. Peak Mercury retrograde.
Luckily, Mercury retrograde is finally ending. The speediest planet goes direct on November 20. But unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet. Because the retrograde shadow is just beginning.
Mercury retrograde shadow, or retro-shade, occurs when Mercury retraces its steps after appearing to move backwards in its orbit during the retrograde. And during this time, the effects of everything that happened during Mercury retrograde hits us hard. “One would think that the post-retrograde zone would be beneficial. But more often than not, it’s a time when communications and dramas are taken to the next level — when the effects of Mercury retrograde are felt and dealt with,” astrologer Lisa Stardust previously told Refinery29.
This particular Mercury retro-shade is in Scorpio and lasts from November 20 to December 7. And as Mercury re-traces its steps, so will we. “During this time, we will be revisiting the story that began during the pre-retrograde shadow period on October 11 (which lasted until Mercury entered its proper retrograde zone on October 31),” Stardust tells Refinery29. “This is our third shot to revise the story. Choose the narrative and ending wisely. Keep receipts from holiday shopping, be mindful of travel plans, and avoid arguments with family. All of which may be hard, as secrets and scandals will be revealed. Be careful and mindful!”
“During the time Mercury has been retrograde in penetrating Scorpio, we have been taking a journey within ourselves to reevaluate and rethink a certain project, relationship, or situation. While digging deep, the trickster planet has brought the message that something’s gotta change for us to keep moving forward,” she explains. "Our minds have been racing, day and night, downloading the information we need in order to resolve, release, or heal whatever has been haunting us.”
When Mercury goes direct, “things will start coming to a head,” Montúfar says. “The sharp and laser-focused energy that characterizes this sign will be felt by all as we tenaciously start planning our next moves.”
Shortly before Mercury begins moving forward, Mars moves from Libra to Scorpio late on November 18, where it will stay until January 3. “There is nothing stronger and more powerful than this sign-planet combination,” explains Montúfar. “No matter our sign, we will feel the determination and ambition emanating from it. Mars is the planet of action, courage, and will power — and when he’s in Scorpio, he gives us drive and the free reign to be assertive and go for the gold!”
The combination of Mars in Scorpio and Mercury’s retrograde shadow in Scorpio means we should all take extra care. “Mars in Scorpio can also make us very impulsive and temperamental. If we are not careful, things can get heated real quick!” Montúfar explains. “Yes, we might feel impatient to push our agenda, especially after three weeks of waiting and rethinking.”
Do your best to stay cautious for another week, even if you can’t make it until the end of the retro-shade. “It is okay to ramp up the speed, however, turning up our awareness is now — more than ever — essential, especially as Mars gets closer and closer to form a very volatile opposition (a face-off) with Uranus, which will be perfecting on November 24,” Montúfar advises. “Once the morning of November 25 arrives, we will be over the hump. The path is clear, and it is now, it’s time to act!”